Eastern Washington hospitals deploy new Bridge technology to enhance patient safety

June 20, 2002

Like many other hospitals, Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., is committed to keeping patients safe from preventable medical errors. What sets the 623-bed Providence Services Eastern Washington (PSEW) hospital apart is its willingness to explore new patient safety technology and share lessons learned with other hospitals.

Since 1999, Sacred Heart has been testing a patient safety system from Bridge Medical called MedPoint.™ The barcode-enabled point-of-care (BPOC) software system uses expert databases and wireless communications to prevent medication errors. The latest release, MedPoint 3.0, also helps hospitals prevent potential errors involving blood transfusions or lab specimen collection.

Today, Sacred Heart announced a new contract to deploy the now thoroughly tested and proven software throughout Sacred Heart and four other PSEW facilities.

"Sacred Heart was Bridge's first development partner west of the Mississippi," notes Bridge VP Kris Wanamaker. "This new contract makes them our largest single hospital customer west of the Mississippi."

The contract will eventually impact the safety of a million-plus medication administrations annually, explains Sacred Heart CEO Ryland "Skip" Davis. "In light of our success with Bridge, our sister hospitals have elected to deploy MedPoint, too.

A number of Sacred Heart nursing units are currently "live" with MedPoint. "Once Sacred Heart is house-wide--most likely by year-end--we will begin 'rolling out' MedPoint at the other PSEW hospitals," says Davis.

"Our pharmacists are pleased with the system," says Sacred Heart Director of Pharmacy Larry Bettesworth, PharmD, RPh, "because it will give nurses and pharmacists more time to devote to patients. MedPoint automatically generates an electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) as well as other reports that reduce paperwork. Even our risk managers now have a few less risks to worry about."

Adds Sacred Heart VP of Nursing Carol Sheridan, RN: "MedPoint makes patients feel more secure knowing there's a system in place to double-check they get the right drug, the right dose, at the right time. And our nurses feel better knowing the software will alert them to look-alike, sound-alike medication packaging and labeling, and other possible hazards."

"Supermarkets have used barcodes for years, so this success is not surprising. It was just a matter of time before the healthcare industry recognized that barcodes could track medications, blood products and lab specimens as easily as groceries."

Adds Frederick L. Galusha, CIO for Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), a Spokane-based INHS network that includes Sacred Heart: "We feel very comfortable introducing this affordable, easy-to-use, robust technology--which we helped Bridge develop--to other hospitals in our network."

In addition to clinical effectiveness, CIOs like Galusha look for ease of integration to existing systems. "Bridge uses 'open architecture' design, a feature that makes MedPoint easy and inexpensive to interface with such software as the Meditech Magic system our INHS hospitals use. When you oversee IT for 27 hospitals, working with a vendor like Bridge eliminates the integration headaches that drive CIOs crazy."
About Sacred Heart

At 623 beds, Sacred Heart Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals in the Northwest, with a professional and support staff of more than 4000 and a medical staff of more than 800. State-of-the-art in more than just patient safety, Sacred Heart uses surgical robotic hands and other advanced technologies.

Sacred Heart is affiliated with Inland Northwest Health Services, and a member of the six-hospital Providence Services Eastern Washington (PSEW) network, one of almost a dozen healthcare, higher education and human services ministries sponsored by the Sisters of Providence. Headquartered in Spokane, Providence Services is a holding company that represents the Sisters of Providence, founded by Emilie Gamelin in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) in 1843. In 1856, a group of Providence members came to the Pacific Northwest and established 32 institutions, including Sacred Heart. For information, visit www.shmc.org, www.prov-serv.com or www.sistersofprovidence.net.

About Bridge

Founded in 1996, Bridge Medical, Inc., is an information technology firm that has pioneered the use of barcode technology in healthcare. Headquartered in Solana Beach, Calif., Bridge has been honored for its patient safety solutions and educational initiatives.

Bridge President and CEO John B. Grotting will join Providence Services President and CEO Richard J. Umbdenstock and other select industry experts who will address a June 25 forum in Washington, D.C., designed to launch the American Hospital Association's new National Alliance for Health Information Technology.
For information, visit www.bridgemedical.com.


Bridge Medical, Carol Somer, 858-314-5538, 888-578-0100 x5538, 703-593-5786 (cell) or csomer@bridgemedical.com
Sacred Heart, Maureen Goins, 509-474-3081, pr@shmc.org

MedPoint is a trademark of Bridge Medical, Inc. Other product names may be a trademark of their respective owners.

Bridge Medical, Inc.

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